Continuing Tales

Hakama Dake

A Rurouni Kenshin Story
by Indygodusk

Part 9 of 16

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Lovingly kissing Kaoru's tear-salted lips, Kenshin wondered if she realized just how vulnerable and raw he felt telling her his feelings. By giving voice to the private desires of his heart, he was practically challenging fate to intervene. Deepening their kiss, he pushed these concerns to the back of his mind to deal with at a later date. For now he would focus on feeling happy and the tickling of her fingers down the nape of his neck.

Their words of love had soothed one part of his psyche, but roused another. He felt an overwhelming urge to touch, taste, and mark every inch of this vital woman as his to protect and love. Thought became deed as his hands roved over her sweat-slick body.

Temporarily removing his mouth from the beguiling taste of grapefruit and jasmine, he kissed down the arm Kaoru had wrapped around his neck. First he finished his exploration of her clavicle that she had so rudely interrupted before, making sure to leave a mark of his passion before he continued. Then he blazed his lips across her shoulder to trace the subtle delineations on her bicep with tongue and teeth. Teasingly, Kaoru walked the fingers of her hand down his back and side, forcing Kenshin to follow it farther and farther down to continue his exploration. Her other hand traced swirls on his stomach and chest distractingly.

Lingering in the indent of her elbow, he looked up through his lashes at Kaoru's glowing blue eyes and playful grin. He was sure that she could feel his own smile pressing against the soft skin of her elbow. Placing one hand between her shoulder blades and the other in the small of her back, he noticed a suspicious crease appearing between Kaoru's brows. She must have noticed the devilish twinkling of his eyes. Lifting his mouth from her arm he grinned. Then he dipped her.

Arching Kaoru back, he smiled at her squeak of alarm and frantic clutching of his shoulders. Meanwhile, he smoothly transferred his mouth to the damp skin of her stomach, feasting on her slightly salty taste. She squeaked again as his mouth dipped briefly into her navel, but this time her choked gasp conveyed more pleasure than alarm.

Moving back up, he kissed along the skin just below the binding on her breasts. The pleasant scrape of Kaoru's fingers along his scalp made him shudder in bliss. Bringing her slowly upright, he moved his hand from between her shoulders to cup her breast, tracing its pointed tip through the cloth and wringing a whimper from her throat.

He was just considering replacing his hand with his mouth when Kaoru's hand fisted against his scalp and tugged firmly. "Up," she demanded, her second, harder tug ripping several strands out. Conceding with a slight wince, he followed the guidance of her hands as she forced his head back up towards her own. Then she proceeded to claim his lips in such a way that he forgot why he had resisted in the first place.

When they parted for breath, Kaoru tossed her head, flicking hair off of her shoulders and face. The sweat of her former and current exertions, however, had glued several strands stubbornly in place. "Kenshin," she began breathily, "your sakabatou is poking me." Glancing down in bemusement, he only had time to see that his sword was slung completely behind him, not touching her at all. Oh- he thought, before Kaoru also chose to look down, cracking her forehead against his in the process.

"Ow," she moaned as they both brought hands up to clutch at their faces. "I'm so sorry," she groaned in awkward misery, hiding behind her hands. "I'm such a klutz."

Lowering his hands, Kenshin had to chuckle. Her head shot up at his laugh and the embarrassment on her face was quickly joined by anger. "So you think it's funny I'm clumsy do you?" she asked testily, poking him hard in the chest.

Easily catching her hand, he tried to stop his laughter. "No, no, no, I wasn't laughing at you, I was laughing at us." Tilting his head to the side he grinned at her. "I think we are both hard-headed enough to survive it. However, if you think it might help I'm more than willing to kiss it better?" Unwillingly she chuckled. As quickly as her anger had appeared it vanished, replaced by a slight smile.

Tenderly he kissed her reddened forehead. Running the back of his fingers along her cheeks, he lovingly brushed the locks of her hair back behind her ears. Of course, most of them refused to stay, falling back into place in a silken waterfall, but it gave him an excuse to continue touching her. Moving soft midnight hair back behind her strong shoulders, he traced glancing caresses along the skin of her cheeks, neck, shoulders, and arms over and over as he made sure to remove any strand that might hide even a speck of her glorious skin from his keen gaze. The final strand Kenshin plucked off of her moist lips. Even though nothing was left, his hand returned to her mouth again just to experience the sensation of her breath puffing against his sensitive fingertips.

Besides a few contented sighs, Kaoru had been strangely quiescent while he smoothed back her hair. With his forefinger barely touching her lower lip, he looked up into her eyes. They were dilated large and black and consuming, trapping him in their fathomless depths. He had never been a more willing prisoner.

Then her tongue darted out and swirled around the pad of his finger. Her eyes closed as she opened her mouth and enveloped his finger in her moist, velvety heat. When she instinctively sucked on the digit his body convulsed at the overwhelmingly arousing sensation. Pulling his fingers out of her mouth jerkily, he caught her uncertain look.

"If we aren't careful, you'll finish me before I've begun," he explained huskily. Blushing, she still looked slightly lost and oh, so sweet. Unable to resist any longer, he moved forward to taste the delicate flesh of her sweet mouth again. His fingers massaged up and down her sides, the remnants of sweat making his fingers glide over her skin. Circling his thumbs against her hips, he hesitated for a moment at the hem of her hakama.

"Please," Kaoru gasped into his mouth, not knowing what she asked for. But he did. Sweeping his palms past the knotted ties at her waist, he painted his fingers down the bare line of her thighs through the slits in her hakama. Worshipfully he caressed the petal-soft skin he'd watched so hungrily mere minutes before, skin he knew no other man had ever touched. In response, Kaoru tossed her head to the side whimpered in the back of her throat, "Ken-shin."

For Kenshin, it was like throwing oil on a fire. Nipping her earlobe, he slid his hands beneath the rough cloth of her hakama and firmly grabbed her bottom. "Mine," he growled into her ear as he used his grip to press her tightly against the cradle of his body.

Kaoru heard whimpering and dimly realized that she was the one making the sounds. Kenshin's mouth and hands were everywhere. She'd realized that it wasn't his sword pressing against her, but she didn't feel like stopping to ask him about it anymore. As long as he let her steer occasionally, she'd happily relinquished control. When his mouth returned from its voyage to nibble on her lips, she felt the throbbing in her body grow stronger. The pounding of her heart grew louder and louder.

When Kenshin pulled back and moved his hands back to her shoulders, she felt a wrench of disappointment. "That pounding," he gasped out raggedly.

"My heart," she replied, reeling him back against her body.

After another drugging kiss, he pulled back again, though this time his hands kept clutching her hips. "The gate," he insisted incoherently, "Sano and Yahiko."

"Who?" she asked dazedly, distracted by the subtle patters he was tracing on the curves of her hips and thighs. Her own fingers were pleasurably occupied mapping the tracings of scars down his body. Right now her left hand was following a particularly intriguing scar that disappeared beneath the cloth at his waist.

Letting out a satisfied masculine laugh, he pulled her in for a hard, possessive kiss. Then grabbing her wrists, he carefully removed her arms from around his body. Gently kissing the back of her hands, he joined them together at her waist and let them go.

"I have to let them in before they break in and see something that would scar them for life." The slightly sinister smirk he gave as he pronounced the word scar distracted Kaoru from her pout as he walked away.

"Wha-," she tried to ask, but the lingering taste of him inside her mouth, along with the play of muscles in his back flexing underneath the red scratches from her fingernails, proved too compelling. The pounding started again, this time even more raucously. Trying to concentrate on the sound, Kaoru managed to figure out that it came from outside of her body.

Looking at Kenshin and all of that golden skin only made her feel more muddle-headed, so she focused instead on the sword rack against the wall. This seemed to help because after a moment, she could understand the voices calling out to be let in or they'd break the gate down.Sano and Yahiko: friend and student. Kaoru blushed when she realized she hadn't even recognized their names a minute ago.

While she'd been distracted, Kenshin had shrugged back into the sleeves of his gi and tried to straighten the ties of his hakama. Running his fingers through his hair in a doomed attempt to straighten it, he picked up her crumpled gi from against the wall. As he turned to walk back to her, he paused. His golden eyes swept up and down her disheveled body, taking a moment to memorize her form. Then letting out a long breath, he strode determinedly forward and delicately helped her shrug back into her clothing.

Stepping back, he closed his eyes, clenched his fists, and took several more deep breaths. When they opened, Kaoru could see purple swirls coalescing in his golden gaze and the familiar Rurouni mask sliding back into place. But when he glanced over at her before walking outside, the purple disappeared under a fresh wash of gold. Cursing – Kenshin cursing! – he strode over to the walland grabbed her discarded water jug. Then he walked out towards the sound of the increasingly vociferous yelling at the gate, keeping his eyes turned away from her corner of the dojo.

Walking away from Kaoru's passion-dazed eyes was one of the hardest things Kenshin had ever had to do. She had matched him kiss for kiss and his back and scalp still tingled from the passionate bite of her nails. Those little gasps and whimpers she had made when he kissed and touched her drove him wild. Kami, but he loved making her want him! And I plan on doing a whole lot more of it later, after I deal with this.

As he walked, Kenshin again tried to calm his body down with deep breathing. Things between Kaoru and he were still too fragile to introduce their friends' teasing just yet. He wanted a little bit more time for just the two of them. They still had so much to discuss. He had a feeling that living with Kaoru was about to become a whole lot more interesting.

The violent pounding at the gate was sending off plumes of dust and mist into the surrounding air. Sneezing, he unlatched the gate. Then he strategically positioned the jug in front of his body. He should have more control than this, but with a woman like Kaoru….

Keeping his head tilted down and slightly to the side to hide anything his eyes or expression might betray he opened the gate. Immediately he was barraged with a tidal wave of complaints and accusations from his friends. For a moment, his mind drew a blank. What do I normally say in these situations? Then years of habit kicked in.

"Maa maa, the gate must have accidentally latched… when this unworthy one came in, that it did." Belatedly, he remembered to tack on his usual humble mode of speech. Luckily, they both seemed too irate to notice. Pasting a facsimile of his Rurouni smile onto his face, he merely nodded his head occasionally.

"And if we hadn't decided to take shelter under a tree during that cloudburst, we might have been trapped outside this gate and gotten soaked!" Yahiko finally concluded heatedly. Thinking about just what he had been doing at that moment himself, Kenshin repositioned the jug in front of his body and shifted his weight. Sano was looking at him strangely, which meant that it was definitely time to retreat.

"I- this unworthy one," quickly correcting himself, he feared it was too much to ask that Sano had missed his Battousai-like slip and the significance of the jug, "was just getting some more water to get dinner started, that I was." Turning away from them unhurriedly, he attempted to walk nonchalantly towards the kitchen. Speaking over his shoulder, he mouthed a few more empty platitudes, very conscious of the jug he still held in front of himself. Hopefully, Sano would blame his odd behavior on the incident with Kaoru's students earlier that day. Yahiko was probably still too inexperienced to pick up on such subtle cues, though he might have noticed Kenshin's verbal slip-up.

Their complaining voices tapered off. Hearing Yahiko's footsteps heading away, he hoped he might actually successfully escape. He was only a few steps away from the kitchen porch when Sano's voice called out, "Oi, Kenshin."

Not stopping his steps, he turned to look back over his shoulder towards this last obstacle. "Yes?" he enquired with what he hoped was suitable politeness and not the teeth-baring frustration he really felt.

"The back of your gi's loose." After delivering this pronouncement, Sano folded his arms and waited with a twinkle in his eye for Kenshin's explanation.

Mind racing, Kenshin tried to think of a plausible excuse and not how Kaoru must have tugged the material loose at some point while she'd been running her hands along the base of his spine so passionately. Obviously he hadn't straightened his clothing well enough. A good excuse… the truth of a sort, that always worked best. "I stopped by the river to cool off before I returned," Kenshin offered, barely slowing as he reached back to tuck in his gi. Thank the gods Sano seemed to accept this, offering no further comment as Kenshin finally escaped into the kitchen.

With Kenshin's absence, Kaoru finally realized just what was going on, though considering the circumstances she felt perfectly justified in being so slow to comprehend. Sano and Yahiko were here and she had been- and then Kenshin had- and then they both had some more- and then he'd left. What if Sano had seen? Yahiko had seen? She would die! They'd never let her live it down, never!

Panicked breathing rushed through lips that still felt swollen from Kenshin's kisses while blood continued to throb and pool in her veins (and this time she really was certain the pounding came from her body and not someone banging at the gate). She couldn't go out and face them. They'd take one look at her and know all of the naughty things she'd thought… and just done!

Placing hands on her blushing cheeks, Kaoru felt hot, sweaty, still rather aroused and very embarrassed all at once. But with Kenshin gone and Yahiko and Sano back, there was nothing she could do about any of it right now.

Feeling a prickling against her cheek, Kaoru drew her hand away and looked down. Entwined with her fingers were several strands of Kenshin's red-gold hair and a sprinkling of jade-hued pine needles. Lifting her hand to her nose, she drew in a deep intoxicating breath of pine andKenshin. Sighing, she carefully unwound her new treasure from her fingers, looked around to make sure she was still alone, and secreted it inside her gi. Then, shaking out her arms and fingers, she pulled her head out of the clouds and tried to figure out what to do next.

Right, so a strategic retreat to the bathhouse is in order. Kaoru calculated that if she took the long way around the perimeter of the house, she could avoid running into the others all together. Securing her gi, she felt her pulse slow down as she planned out her route and strategy. Thanks to Misao, she knew quite a lot about sneaking around without being noticed. Peeking out one of the open shoji, she saw Yahiko heading towards his room.

Perfect, so as long as the bathhouse is empty and Kenshin didn't decide to rinse off first I should be- an image of Kenshin pouring a bucket of cold water over a body adorned only in soap suds sashayed into her strategy session. Kaoru's mental eyes followed the rivulets of water as they coursed down the planes of his chest and stomach, but a few inches below his bellybutton, a body part I deny being obsessed with,the image became as blurry as her heat-scorched courtyard. Can't blame a girl for trying, she thought with a mental smirk.

"Oi, Kenshin," rang out Sano's voice, disturbingly close outside. Brought jarringly back to the present, Kaoru realized that she might be on the brink of being discovered. Not to mention that her body was once again throbbing in frustration. Great, focus you idiot!

Well, Sano's words meant that the bathhouse was still a viable refuge, unless Kenshin and Sano were in there togeth….

Sometimes, Kaoru really hated her imagination.

Hakama Dake

A Rurouni Kenshin Story
by Indygodusk

Part 9 of 16

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